Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 17, 1863

Gen. Lee has left the city. His troops, encamped thirty miles north of Richmond, marched northward last night. So it is his determination to cross the Rappahannock? Or is it a demonstration of the enemy to prevent him from sending reinforcements to North Carolina? We shall know speedily.

North Carolina, one would think, is soon to be the scene of carnage; and it is asked what can 16,000 men do against 60,000?

The enemy began the attack on Fort Caswell yesterday; no result. But one of his blockaders went ashore in the storm, and we captured the officers and crew.

All the conscripts in the West have been ordered to Gen. Bragg.

Shall we starve? Yesterday beef was sold for 40 cts. per pound; to-day it is 60 cts. Lard is $1.00. Butter $2.00. They say the sudden rise is caused by the prisoners of Gen. Bragg, several thousand of whom have arrived here, and they are subsisted from the market. Thus they injure us every way. But, n'importe, say some; if Lincoln's Emancipation be not revoked, but few more prisoners will be taken on either side. That would be a barbarous war, without quarter.

I see that Col. J. W. Wall, of New Jersey, has been nominated, and I suppose will be elected, U. S. Senator. He was confined for months in prison at Fort Lafayette. I imagine the colonel is a bold, able man.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 239-40

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